The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody)

Music: Frederic Chopin (Polonaise “Militaire”; Berceuse, Op. 57; Prelude, Op. 28, No. 18; Prelude, Op. 28, No. 16; Waltz in E Minor [Posth]; Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7; Prelude, Op. 28, No. 4; Mazurka in G Major [Posth.]; Ballade, Op. 47, No. 3), orchestrated by Clare Grundman
Choreography: Jerome Robbins
Staging: Christine Redpath
Scenic Design: Edward Gorey
Costume Design: Irene Sharaff
Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
Lighting Re-creation: Nicole Pearce
Duration: 31 minutes
Premiere: March 6, 1956; New York City Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: September 15, 2007

Noelani Pantastico, Olivier Wevers, Lesley Rausch, and
Maria Chapman in The Concert. Photo © Angela Sterling

The 2007 Seattle premiere of The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody) was generously underwritten by Ernest & Diane Burgess and Glenn Kawasaki.

One of the pleasures of attending a concert is the freedom to lose oneself in listening to the music. Quite often, unconsciously, mental pictures and images form, and the patterns and paths of these reveries are influenced by the music itself, or its program notes, or by the personal dreams, problems and fantasies of the listener. Chopin’s music in particular has been subject to fanciful “program” names such as the Butterfly Etude, the Minute Waltz, the Raindrop Prelude, etc. —Jerome Robbins

Choreographed in 1956, Jerome Robbins’ The Concert is a comic spoof of a classical music concert. The setting is an all-Chopin recital where the attendees allow their decidedly imaginative minds to wander. When the resulting images are danced, human foibles and recognizable insecurities are revealed as Robbins brings each fantasy comically and vividly to life. A genuine crowd-pleaser, The Concert illustrates Robbins’ remarkable insight into the delightful imperfections of human relationships and, in the midst of the laughter, enlightens us all.

Frederic Chopin (1810–1849), born in Poland, was one of the most important innovators for the piano, both in terms of composition and playing style. He influenced future composers, especially those of the French and Russian schools, and the musical level he attained made possible future piano innovations.

Notes compiled by Doug Fullington.

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